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Paul Rolly: Utah A.G. John Swallow a conservative martyr?

Published July 2, 2013 6:58 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Tea-party goddess Cherilyn Eagar, former failed Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate and Congress and most famous for her claims the high school International Baccalaureate Program is a vast U.N. conspiracy, has uncovered the plot to get Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

An email Eagar sent to fellow Republicans and follow-up phone calls her Eagle Forum comrades have made to like-minded patriots in Utah County declare that the investigations into Swallow's alleged ethical lapses have nothing to do with his guilt or innocence.

"It's about an all-out assault from the federal government down to the local level to break every last remaining conservative super-majority that exists in the United States," Eagar wrote, employing her best Chicken Little impersonation.

"Utah is being targeted as the last holdout on several fronts," she added, noting that Swallow is under siege because he is a good conservative.

Eagar asked her fellow Republicans to contact their state representatives who are meeting Wednesday to discuss the next step toward possible impeachment of Swallow and urge them to do the right thing.

Will they follow the state constitution or "cave to the pressure of big money, media and the left?" she asked.

How are we to stop this liberal onslaught against good conservatives and preserve the constitution?

We need to give Eagar money, she notes in her email.

"Please consider a generous donation of any amount to [Eagar's] American Leadership Fund," her email concluded. "Your gift of $35, $50, $100 or more is appreciated. A monthly donation of $5 or $10 or more will go a long way to make a difference."

Exceptions to the Constitution? • Besides her email to stir up the soldiers of the right, Cherilyn Eagar wrote her own letter to members of the Utah House of Representatives urging them to delay action on a resolution to form a special committee to investigate whether Swallow should be impeached.

She wrote that the Supreme Court defines the terms of impeachment differently from the Legislature's counsel, who works for the Speaker of the House and therefore, she says, has a conflict of interest.

"Meanwhile … your legal counsel also presumes that the legislative branch is more powerful than the judicial branch and that it has the authority to ignore the interpretation of the court."

That would put the system of checks and balances out of balance, she said.

Yet it's Eagar's tea-party allies in the House who have suggested ignoring court rulings on public lands, the environment and firearms.

Teaching by example • Tuesday, a week after Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker's office issued a statement reminding residents to conserve water, the Salt lake City-owned park at State Street and North Temple, across the street from the LDS Church's Brigham Young Park, had its sprinklers going in the midst of the heat wave at about 2 p.m.

An old sage's advice • Since Utah liquor stores close on holidays, I thought I'd pass on the annual reminder from the late longtime Tribune columnist Dan Valentine: Remember to get your fifth for the Fourth on the third.

prolly@sltrib.com